Spending money on rearing pets, especially among urban pet owners in China, increased rapidly this year. A report by Goumin.com, a Chin-based social network site for pet owners, stated that the Chinese had spent around $ 28.6 billion for their pets this year, which is a 19% increase than that in 2018.
It is a surprising fact that people spend a huge chunk of money amid the slowing rate of the country’s economy.
Declining Birth Rate and Increasing Unmarried People
A more interesting insight is that the rise of the pet-rearing culture in China is related to the growing number of unmarried people and the declining birth rate of children in the country.
Since revoking the “one-child” policy in 2016, the Chinese Government now follows a “two-children policy”. The birth rate in the country declined to 15 million babies in 2018, which was China’s lowest figure in the last 6 decades. The birth rate has rapidly declined in 2019.
According to Euromonitor International, a London-based market research company, “China now has the world’s largest dog and cat population of 188 million, overtaking the US in 2018.”
The sharp increase in the pet-rearing culture in China is attributed to the rising number of unmarried people. As analyzed by Goumin.com, “About half of the pet owners across China’s major cities are single and 9 out of 10 consider their pets on par with children or family members.”
Changing Pet-Rearing Culture and Its Impacts
The new development of the pet-rearing culture in China negates the Western stereotype of portraying the country an evil to dogs. Domestically, the rise in the number of pet lovers has had a big impact on changing the mindset of the Chinese people regarding pets.
Having a dog as a pet was considered illegal in Beijing, as it was the symbol of bourgeois culture; however, this perspective is now changing. According to Goumin.com, “Almost half of dogs and cats adopted in urban areas this year have been by Chinese born in the 1990s and 88 percent of caretakers are women.”
As per a media report, “By 2024, China is likely to have 248 million pet dogs and cats compared to 172 million in the US.” This offers big opportunities for pet food producing companies, including Mars Petcare US and Nestle Purina Petcare. These companies are likely to expand their business in China.
Moreover, the rise in the demand for pets in China is likely to increase the number of puppy mills, thus causing over breeding and inbreeding of dogs and thus, putting the lives of these animals at risk.
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